Photographer Laurie Anne King set out to show the wisdom and ageing beauty of rural Australia through her images. With the world saturated by models on magazine covers and photoshopped ‘reality’ stars everywhere on social media, the perceptions of beauty are being warped around the world. Wrinkles are airbrushed away and botox is injected just to keep you looking ‘young’.
But when did getting older become such a bad thing? At what point did it stop being a sign of wisdom and when laugh lines were not something to hide? When it feels like the world revolves around how beautiful you are, losing that identity as you age can be challenging for some women.
This was the task for King as she set out to show beauty and the value of older women and their worth in society. She wanted to capture women over the age of 49 in a way that they could embrace their true age, wrinkles, age spots, body shape and all.
Speaking to Bokeh, King said, “The inspiration for the project has come from within my own process as a woman of 53 years of age, just beginning to face the challenges of how society views and treats ‘older women’.”
She took photos of six women in from tropical Queensland. The photos are part of a series ‘Resurrection of the Crone’, and is part of a larger project King is working on.
Those who have done portrait photography understand the challenges you face getting a subject to open up to you and show you who they really are. King said, “Creating a safe and nurturing space for each subject and gently, patiently facilitating a healing process that was unique for each women.”
King describes her job during the shoot as someone wearing two hats: part photographer, part therapist. She said by asking poignant questions she was able to get the women to open up to her to get the photos she was looking for.
“Miraculously, they all slowly began to let down their own guard, their veneer and allow their authentic self to show up. That’s the peak of the shoot and the most incredible thing to witness as the subject begins to lose inhibition and camera avoidance. This is when their true beauty is revealed.”
King believes it’s important to show the women how the world sees them in order for the women to see themselves in a different light. “Their beauty is unmistakable and truly only recognised by themselves when they are connected to their strength and wisdom.”
Cover image Resina photographed by Laurie Anne King.
All images used with permission